The first blog post.
I am starting at a blank screen with nothing to say.
I am a writer.
That is not a very good start to things. (I'm laughing BTW). Insert smiley face emoji.
Why is starting something new so scary, I wonder?
Three things come to mind:
3. Risk of Failure (and success)
It is natural to feel off balance when starting something new. It is like a baby learning to walk for the first time. They fumble around. They stand up and fall and stand up and walk across the room. They look back at where they started almost in amazement that they just did what they did. Although they cannot verbalize it, they probably feel an overwhelming amount of excitement and incredible fear.
When I did on-site organizing, one of the first questions clients would ask me is, "where should we start?" My response was typically, "what is causing the most stress right now?" If the client said, their bills were not getting paid on time we would start with the office or mail. If the client said they are sick of going out to eat we would start in the kitchen. If the client said they wanted to improve their love life we would start in the bedroom.
Where we started was not as important as the why. Eventually, we knew we would get to every room. The reason why is important because it will motivate you to continue even when you do not "feel like" organizing. If the reason why is to pay bills on time to save money or to cook at home to lose weight or to enjoy intimacy with your partner then those are pretty good reasons for not giving up the fight.
Remember your why and dive in to something new. It might look a little messy getting started but that is okay.
Ahh, Judgement. What will your family or friends think when you tell them you are starting something new? Half of them will cheer you along and the other half will tear you down. This half will question why you are doing what you are doing. They will tell you a better way of doing it. They may even tell you that you will not succeed. Just remember that this judgement is THEIR issue, not yours. They are fearful of going all in. They are fearful of the uncertainty. You cannot control how people will react to your decisions, but you can control how their words influence you. Let their hurtful words go in one ear and out the other. Don't give them any power and remember your why.
I joking tell people that there is no reason to pass judgement on me because I have already judged myself three times as much as they ever could. No lie. The self-judgement is actually the hardest to control. My insecurities begin to surface and I question if I am good enough, smart enough, do I deserve this, what if I fail, how did it get this bad, what is wrong with me, I will never have it figured out and the self-judgement talk goes on and on and on.
What I will tell you is to let the negative words, the phrases, the self-judgement out. Holding it in is just toxic. Then, it helps to befriend myself. I think, "would I say these horrible things to a friend?" Absolutely not, so why am I saying these things to myself? I reframe my thinking and call it like I see it. I say, "Yes, this is very scary. I have no idea of the outcome and I know this will not be perfect, but at least I am trying and I will figure it all out as I go." Give it a shot and let me know how it goes.
Risk of Failure (and success)
The fear of failure. By far one of my biggest fears. I remember when I told a business parter that I was divorced. It was pretty evident since my last name changed to my maiden name. He commented on how strong I was for "holding it all together" at work despite the hardship in my personal life. I actually had to laugh because I didn't think I was holding it together at all. I thanked him and said I don't talk about it much because I see my divorce as shameful and a failure. You know what he said to me? He said, "I never would put the words 'Tiffany' and 'failure' in the same sentence."
What he said moved me deeply. I will never forget it. And, I remember what he said every single time I am afraid to do something because of risk of failure. I will even let you borrow the phrase he said to me, all you have to do is insert your name. There is no such thing as failure as long as lessons are learned that will help you grow in to the person you are meant to be. Sometimes the lessons are learned quickly and sometimes it can take years of grief and reflection to learn the lessons, regardless they are there if you look for them.
Deep down I think we are all afraid of success and that is really what prevents us from going "all in." What if we succeed, then what? If we organize our home or grow a startup business or travel the world or retire at age 30, then what? I think we are all chasing a carrot or two. My carrot is to live somewhere warm year-round, be able to walk to the beach and work from home. And those carrots are actually pretty attainable within a short period of time, but I wonder - what then? If I reach my goals and am not dead yet, then do I just throw in the towel. Hell no. Then you just find new passions and new goals and new dreams. Maybe I help the homeless build huts on the beach or figure out how to travel the US by train - whatever. We grow, we evolve, we find new exciting paths with new exciting people and carry on.
Please don't be afraid of achieving success. When you give back to the world what your gifts are and accept the success humbly and with grace then you are living out your purpose.
The answer is, Yes. The question is am I judging myself and feeling a bit overwhelmed and afraid this blog site will fall flat on its face or even more afraid that it will take off and be hugely popular? Yes. Absolutely. All of the above. But, you know what we do it anyways because its what we call "living."
What are you going to get started on?